Recipe: Loaded meatballs

FULLY LOADED: A meatball sandwich.
FULLY LOADED: A meatball sandwich.
(Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)

Total time: 1 hour

Servings: 6

Note: Adapted from “Our Man in the Kitchen” by Hyman Goldberg. The meatballs are best made one day before serving; this allows the flavors to develop. Serve the meatballs warmed with the sauce or on a toasted hoagie roll.


1 1/2 pounds ground beef


1 egg, beaten

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon ketchup

1 slice stale white bread, crust removed and ground to fine crumbs

1/4 cup water

In a medium bowl, combine the ground beef, egg, salt, pepper, ketchup, bread crumbs and water. Roll a heaping tablespoon into a 1-inch meatball, continuing until all of the mixture is used. You should have about 3 1/2 dozen meatballs.


2 tablespoons olive oil, divided



1 small onion, diced (about 3/4 cup)

1 clove garlic, crushed

2 dashes Angostura bitters


1 cup beef broth

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon flour

1/2 cup bourbon


1/4 cup sweet vermouth

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1. In a large, heavy-bottom skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Fry half of the meatballs until golden brown on all sides. Strain the meatballs into a clean bowl, then wipe out the skillet with a paper towel and repeat with the remaining oil and meatballs. Strain the remaining meatballs into the bowl, this time leaving the fat in the pan.


2. Reduce the heat to medium, and stir the onions and garlic into the fat. Cook until the onions are soft but not browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the bitters, broth, mustard, flour, bourbon, vermouth and oregano and bring to a boil. Cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens and is reduced to 1 1/4 cups, about 5 minutes.

3. Return the meatballs to the pan and stir into the sauce. Simmer just until the meatballs are warmed through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley and serve immediately, or refrigerate and reheat before serving.

Each serving: 346 calories; 22 grams protein; 7 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 19 grams fat; 6 grams saturated fat; 107 mg. cholesterol; 675 mg. sodium.